What Can We Believe About the Paranormal and the Afterlife?
In his most recent book on near-death experiences and the afterlife, co-authored with Paul Perry, [Paranormal : My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife, ] Raymond Moody still wishes to remain objective, and will not make a firm statement endorsing the view that the afterlife really exists. He does not want people to think that all his years of research is merely aimed at propping up a belief, not at testing one.
I would think that it is not possible to test a belief, like giving it a laboratory test. and when Moody states that death is the state from which you do not get back, he is only partially correct. Indeed, the body, once completely dead cannot be resuscitated. Cryogenics is an idle dream. However, the mind and personality do continue on, in a non-physical form, which has been proved over and over again by modern mediumship, and this is one of the foundations of our religions, which have known and demonstrated this fact through mediumship for thousands of years.
Medium Robert Egby knows that spirits return from the afterlife to contact us, and even those who are earthbound, or do not realise that they are dead, show that the person continues to live in a spirit form. In his latest book, Holy Dirt, Sacred Earth, Three Mile Point Publishing, 2012, Egby banishes any possibility that an afterlife does not exist. He relates how he and his companion Betty Lou have been able to release many earthbound spirits, former miners and other pioneers and native people in New Mexico. He has also done this kind of rescue work in other parts of North America, as well as being able to communicate with spirits who have passed on successfully into the Spirit World, and come back to confirm their continued existence and console the loved ones they have left behind. So his work banishes any illusion about there being no afterlife.
Moody and Egby are of like mind, however, over beliefs getting in the way of objectivity, for different reasons. Moody does not want beliefs to cloud his judgment, while Egby meets spirits who sometimes retain their former fixed, but erroneous, beliefs after they have died. Either they don't know they are dead, or they are waiting for the Last Trump, Doomsday or a Final Judgment, so they are living in a kind of limbo, waiting to go to Heaven.. Muslim suicide bombers have similarly come through other mediums, confused because they do not find themselves in paradise surrounded by beautiful maidens, as a reward for their actions in the holy war. These false beliefs prevent the soul from moving on.
So the radical researcher and the radical spiritualist have something in common: the ability to keep a clear mind, and see the truth. I share this point of view, of needing to keep clear of outworn orthodox beliefs and untested suppositions, and am in this respect a radical. But I prefer to carry in my briefcase the Metapsychiatrist's two intelligent questions: What is the Meaning of what Seems to Be?, and What Really IS?
I agree with Moody that there is more to life than we can ever know while we exist in a human body.
We are either products of evolution on this planet, finally becoming self-conscious and aware of this greater reality, before we personally die and disappear into oblivion, OR this consciousness belongs to our immortal soul or spirit, which already existed before choosing to incarnate or reincarnate in a human body.
If we think that the evidence we can gather shows that the second view proves our immortality, then there is no problem about the afterlife. It is a misnomer. Really, we are dealing with the eternal life of the spirit, with no before or after. Our spirit is part of an ongoing and continuing process, and mediumship provides proof of this. Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the Theory of Evolution, stated this over a hundred years ago - "I was a confirmed philosophical skeptic, but the facts beat me. The so-called dead are still alive. They are often with us, though unseen, and give direct proof of a future life."
Antony Flew was a psychic researcher and ardent atheist most of his life. He always followed the evidence when testing a theory, so never accepted any idea or belief without examining the evidence. So, finally, three years before his death he published his astonishing book, "There IS a God," HarperOne, 2007 in which he stated that he could no longer support his atheistic views. The evidence against them was too great.
If we keep a clear mind, open to all experience and evidence, uninfluenced by trends and beliefs, as all these writers advocate, we are likely to reach some aspects of the eternal truths of life before we leave this mortal part of our existence.
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